How to Create an Entertaining Pop Culture Podcast with Zacary Landolt

Show Notes

In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will get podcasting tips and advice from a creator that launched a very entertaining pop culture podcast that transports listeners to Another World.

Remember to share what you got out of my conversation with Zacary by leaving a review at https://www.podchaser.com/PodcastTactics

Learn More about Zacary and his show “In Another World: A Pop Culture Podcast”

Episode recorded on February 27, 2021.

Music by Valence – Infinite [NCS Release]
DOWNLOAD: http://ncs.io/infinite

Transcript

James: In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will get podcasting tips and advice from a creator that launched a very entertaining pop culture podcast that transports listeners to Another World.

I’m James, the host of Podcast Tactics. If you want to keep learning about podcasting, get inspired and stay motivated, join the mailing list at PodcastTactics.com.

Thanks for listening. Let’s get into it!

Joining me right now is a Zacary Landolt from Asheville, North Carolina. Zacary, thank you so much for coming on

Zacary: the show. Oh, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. So let’s dive

James: right in. Tell us about your podcast. What’s the name and what is it all about?

Zacary: Um, well, actually I have two shows, but my main show is In Another World: A Pop Culture Podcast.

And it’s just sort of an explosion of anything and everything, everything from like TV to film, to specialty topics, I’m about to start season two of it. So it’s kind of getting shuffled around a little bit. So it’s. Kind of interesting to talk about season one, because it went through such a evolutionary process.

Um, but yeah, it’s just like a place for lovers of pop culture and, uh, it’s very LGBTQ leaning with the topics and the guests that I tend to book. Um, but it’s just been like a fun time for anybody. Like very chill. We don’t get too like political or too serious. It’s just lots of fun. Try to have some fun.

Absolutely. It is.

James: You know, we’ll talk about it. Uh, some episodes that I listened to, it’s a good time, uh, you know, no spoilers. I mean, I want people to, you know, check them out, listen to them. I mean, they are a lot of fun. Can you talk a little bit about that evolution that you talked about for season one?

And I mean, it sounds very 2020, it sounds very impacted

Zacary: by COVID. You have too much time on your hands. You have too much time to think about everything you could work on. That’s the way I look at it also. Um, it just started out originally. I had a completely different concept for what the show was going to be originally.

And actually the first episode is sort of the last, um, remnants of what the original show was going to be. Cause originally every episode was going to be about a different, like. Pop culture figure. And I was going to go through that and then it was probably be more actresses, but we probably would have done actors also, but going through their career and going into both the roles they did that are iconic, but also going into the choices they said though, too, and how that could have restructured their career.

Wow. And that was, yeah, that was a lot of fun until then. Well, I went to go edit my first episode and it took me forever. So much pre-production and post-production, and I just thought this might kill me. If I try to do this as a weekly podcast,

James: what was causing all that production work?

Zacary: I just, all the author of research to make sure I had like, as much fact checking done as I could.

So I wasn’t just spouting out nonsense. Um, but also originally I had lots of like, I like to play lots of performance clips for actors. And so that would be like pulling those clips and editing bows and just. All all of it. And so it was a lot of fun and I liked doing it once in a while. I still call it my fan girl series, where every once in a while, they’ll just be an episode about a performer I wanted to highlight, but I decided to not do it as the weekly format because it was.

It was just going to exhaust me too much. Um, but it just, yeah. So then from there I went, well, what else can I do? And so I sort of went more into any like pop culture topic, like everything was like a pop culture topical episode. So it could be everything from, oh, we’re going to talk about horror movies this week, or we’re going to talk about romantic comedy is we’re going to talk about, you know, any, any sort of like genre or just type of, um, Things I’m inspired by with pop culture, but it’s more open and now I’ve had more time.

With the show. And I feel like I have a clear vision for what’s going to be going forward, but just, yeah, a lot of second get a lot of second guessing, a lot of listening to episodes and going, oh, that works. That doesn’t work. Getting feedback from listeners about, Hey, we loved this thing, me going, oh, you liked that.

Like, so it’s, it’s just what a whole process of listening to your audience and keeping. Like keeping your vision and your confidence in what you want to do. But also if you have a bunch of people saying, Hey, we’ve really loved this thing. You’ve been doing the past couple of weeks going, well, maybe that’s where they’re going to follow me more.

And so it’s just been a whole learning process and I have been doing podcasting for less than a year. So this is all new to me. So it’s just been a whole day.

James: See, and that’s what excited me about doing this interview with you, because I mean, for numerous things, I mean, you’re. The production of your show is really good.

I mean, it’s, it’s a lot of fun. The sound is awesome, you know? Um, but yeah, I knew you’re a newbie for first of all, you know, you’re relatively new and it’s great to hear how you’re evolving. You’re pivoting, you’re taking that feedback that you’re getting from your listeners and you’re allowing yourself to receive at first of all, I mean, I’m not sure whether, you know, you get a lot of positive or negatives, you know, I’m sure some of it’s really hard to hear.

But, you know, on some level you’re open to it and you’re open to the feedback that you’re getting.

Zacary: Yeah. I think, um, well, I’m also, I’m a, I’m an old theater nerd from way back. I’m also an actor and singer. And so I think I’m also just used to getting notes from directors or the thing. So I’m just used to like, oh, that’s not working.

Okay, great. We’ll work on that. And I also, I’m not one of those people that always thinks I’m the smartest person in the room. Like I’m always open to ideas because I always think somebody might have good feedback or a great idea. And so I would just hear and EG get negative feedback. Also, like I would have people say, wow, your sound got so much better from your first couple of episodes and you just have to go well, well, you know, they’re the first couple of episodes, like, what do you want.

Um, cause there is a perfectionist side of me that wants everything to be as close to Polish as possible. Because the big thing with podcasting, I tried to remember what do you both like or dislike about podcasts that you listened to? And also what have been your biggest pet peeves as a listener to podcasts?

And for me, audio quality was always something where I’d go, God, I like what they’re talking about, but the sounds like they recorded it with the, like a. A soap dish. Like, what is this? Like? I don’t understand. So I definitely have tried. So hearing you say that the audio production is great. It’s definitely a huge compliment for me because I have for sure.

Focused on that sense of beginning. It

James: definitely shines through.

Zacary: Thank you.

James: So let’s talk about, I mean, I think you’ve touched on this a little bit. But I want to ask anyway, what do you hate about podcasting?

Zacary: Oh God. Uh, sometimes that list is longer than what I like now. Um, it’s it’s I didn’t realize just how time consuming it was until I started hanging out.

And it’s, it’s just, um, one thing I’ve learned is. Preparing in advance and not doing everything so much, like fly, you know, like I, for a while I was producing my show almost like a weekly television program, which is a very stressful, because then you are on a timeline with what you need to have done by like, which day, every single week.

And I still have a schedule, but now I plan my episodes ahead a little bit. So I have some time to just relax a little bit, but definitely the thing I did not like was just. Or that just, I mean, I guess I do just like it, but it was just figuring out what the right workflow was and what the right amount of time to give myself.

And also the other thing I hate about podcasting it’s it’s yeah. I didn’t realize how much time it would take was just promotion and doing social media marketing, which seems so simple to me at the time I thought, oh yeah, I’ll post some Instagram posts. I’ll do this and that. And it just takes up so much time.

Like now I literally do have a little dry erase calendar where it has like, oh, make sure you do this, this and this today and tomorrow you have to like, make the promo for this. And so. Yeah, just making sure I’m covering all the bases with that. That would probably be my least favorite part. And also dealing with, um, guests in terms of booking, because I’ve had so many people cancel last minute.

I’ve had people try to push their times. I try to be, as I try to keep the recording day as flexible as possible just in case someone has to push, but it can get a little stressful, the, uh, pressure with that side of it. Yeah,

James: I understand. Yeah. The, um, I want to back up a little bit and talk to you about your, your promotions that you’re doing on social media, at least.

Uh, do you feel like that’s have making a difference for you?

Zacary: I feel like it does. Um, because I have another podcast called, uh, two gays watch drag race, and so RuPaul’s drag race recap show, and that one has had more high profile guests than my other show. My other show is more, just fun people I wanted to talk to.

Whereas the other show it’s, some of them are like, you know, Pretty decently sized, drag celebrities and stuff. And so I do see a difference obviously with, um, someone that has a bigger social media presence because stuff gets shared more. Uh, we’ve definitely seen an uptick in our numbers since, uh, not to talk about podcast numbers.

Cause my gosh, another thing I hate talking about, but. We definitely do see a change when we talk to someone that’s been on RuPaul’s drag race. And so they come in with an instant fan base wants to follow them. So I would say that way, I see the most difference, but there’s definitely a lot of time where I feel like I’m putting all of this work into promotion.

That’s seemingly doing nothing. Uh, I it’s it’s it’s uh, It’s a postpone it’s I’d never know what’s going to happen. Honestly.

James: Understood. Understood. All right. Let’s look at the flip side of things here. What about, what do you love about podcasting?

Zacary: I love that it’s, uh, something that is first of all, entirely created by me.

So it obviously feels very personal and. Yeah. I started podcasting in 2020, which was a time where I had all of these as an actor. I had all these products checks that I was excited for for the year, and then COVID happened and everything was instantly erased. And so I was sort of in this. Um, creative lull of like, well, what do I do with myself?

Because I’m so used to working on something. And so instead of like waiting around for something to come to me, I had been interested in podcasting for a long time. I’ve been a long time listener of podcasts. I’ve been interested in the format before, but I never had the time or the resources and suddenly 2020 presented nothing but time.

And so I thought, well, if not now, when you know, I’m not going to start it when I have. Literally nothing but dead time. Uh, so it’s been nice just to have something to work on and something that, yeah, it makes me feel fulfilled in that way. I would say. That’s awesome. What’s

James: the best thing that’s happened to you as a result of your podcast?

Zacary: Best thing. I, I have made so many like awesome, some friends through podcasting, uh, but my co-hosts of my other show we’ve actually never physically met. She never did in the same room before he lives in Washington state. I live in North Carolina, so we’re literally on opposite ends of the country. And we run this show together and we aren’t planning a.

Eventual meeting. I think the summer, when the finally works sounds can be so odd, but there’ve been so many people, like I remember I was watching this live stream of a reunion of a TV show and there was this guy that was hosting it and I thought, oh, that guy seems like a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll reach out and see if he wants to be on my show.

And now, like he’s been on my show several times. Like I consider him an actual friend. So it’s, it’s crazy. The networking that happens within podcasting and how many. Yeah, new connections you make. And especially in 2020, when everything was so distant and so, you know, uh, lonely, sometimes it was, it was odd to make so many new friends in 2020, for sure.

So I like

James: asking this question, especially to, uh, new podcasters newish. I mean, you’re, you’re verging on being a veteran podcast or here you’re almost,

Zacary: I don’t feel

James: like it. Well, I’m still going to ask you because I do want to hear what you have to say. What kind of advice would you give a new podcaster or somebody who’s interested in starting a podcast?

What is top of the list?

Zacary: Mm for me, cause I, I, cause I’m on a lot of pot casting like message boards and forums, but I always see people posting, Hey, I want to start a podcast by, I don’t know what I want it to be about. Do you have any ideas? And so my thing is, if you’re going to start a podcast, you need to, I have passion.

I think passion is important. Needs to have a clear idea. Then of course, things are going to change. Things are going to evolve. That’s. That’s inevitable, but I think you need to have passion for what you want to do. Cause that’s, the audience is going to hear it in your voice also, but also be willing to be adaptable because things are going to change because any creative thing you work on, it’s going to evolve.

And I think some people get so married to their original ideas that they don’t want to shift from it at all. And, you know, being strong-willed is great, but I think you need to. Tell when you need to shift one way or the other, like you can just, you can just, I can feel it when I’ve recorded an episode and it’s either gone really well.

Or if I’m like, Hmm, that did not work as well as I’ve had to, I’ve had to fix so many episodes in post-production like just to like pump it up. Like there was one episode I did where I did all of these quizzes with a friend, friends of mine that are a couple. And when I listened back to the audio, I was like, oh, this is like, really not.

As exciting as about what’s going to be. So I ended up reformatting the entire thing as like a TV game show and literally added in like laugh track cause studio like, oh, I was like, oh yeah, took, took forever. But it ends up being like really cool and got a lot of, uh, cool feedback from it. Right. So it is that I believe it’s called, oh God, this is so long ago.

Um,

James: So long ago, Mr. I started in 2020.

Zacary: I can’t remember what the episode was called, I think, oh wait. I think it was. Oh, I think it was a film flop film flop, an episode. Wait, maybe like I’ve always, I’ve had the, the guests from that episode on a couple of times, sometimes it’s hard to be like, wait, which episode was that?

I know it was one, it was one from my first season. It was with Samantha, LeBron and Alan LA. I, I think it was about film flops. I think that’s what it was about. All

right.

James: Well, fate is speaking of episodes. I listened to two bop or stop, which by the way is I, I love that idea. That’s a lot of fun. That was a fun interview.

Uh, it seemed like you guys were having a good time.

Zacary: Oh yeah. That was the law. He was, Tom is, uh, uh, I’ve known him for a couple of years now. And since the beginning of my show, I always plan having Tom on the show and it just never seemed to work out like, oh, what? Which cause Tom is someone that’s great with music.

Yeah. But not with much other types of media. He’s the kind of person who was like, I don’t know any movies. I don’t know, actors names, I don’t watch TV. And so I finally was like, well, me it’s like, we’ll do music. And so we were having a lot of fun

James: for sure. Yeah. I mean, I, again, I want people to listen to the episode, as well as, you know, every other episode that you have in your backlog right now, it was so much fun.

You know, the concept behind that show was just, it was, it was just. A real good time. I enjoy that. I love music too. So, you know, it was just so much fun, a quote that actually, that you said that stuck out in my brain too, was, um, I don’t know how you guys got in this conversation, but you were talking about your future.

You said something to the effect of my future is still a question mark bubble in my head and it blew me away. I was just kind of like, man, I can so relate to that. You know? I mean, it was just, I remember saying that. It just, it had an impact on me. I don’t remember the context, but I just remember thinking, I’m going to note that

Zacary: I want to talk to you about that.

It sounds about right. How do you go

James: about prepping for your, uh, for your episodes specifically, your interview episodes? Do you

Zacary: outline. I do all, I I’m like I’m the king of outlines. I am always making an outline. I’m always emailing it out to my guests at least the day before. It’d be like, Hey, here’s a little just because I, and you know, I try to keep things loose.

Like I don’t like to make. I don’t like things that sound too structured or static, but I do for me, I like to have a roadmap of like, okay. Cause I also tend to do lots of segments, so I go, okay, well here’s where this also, I don’t want someone to be surprised. And then it just, uh, becomes a jumbled mess on the air.

Cause I had that happen with. Because I didn’t format as much or outline as much with the first couple and I can always hear where someone goes, oh, what are we doing? Oh, oh, okay. And then would just, it would be a little too much for me. So I definitely like an outline. I love an outline. I like knowing what we’re doing and then from there, cause also I’m the thing of like, Over-prepare so that once you start recording, you can kind of just have fun and know that you always, how the outline there, if you need it.

I have sometimes completely straight away from the outline, but at least if it, and it’s mainly in K and look, I haven’t really had this yet, but it’s in case I have a dead interview or someone just. It turns out to be a lot less interesting than I thought they were going to. I like to know, okay, well, at least I can ask them like this and this, then we can keep things going.

And luckily I’ve had pretty great guests so far, so I haven’t really had to worry about that, but I definitely believe in having an outline, doing research on the guests and their career. Uh, if it’s someone that’s been interviewed before, I try to listen to a couple of interviews too. Get a feel for whether what are the things they’re being asked all the time.

So can hopefully go somewhere new. Um, just having fun, trying to make it sound. And I get, I’ve had several comments about the show sounded like this. It’s the biggest, other biggest compliment is that, oh, it sounds like someone that you’ve been friends with for a long time. And a lot of my guests are people.

Yeah. A lot of people are new people. But I want it to sound like, like a hangout session that someone’s just listening to them. And that sounded like a S like a stuffy interview, I guess. You know,

James: I think you’re successful with that. I mean, on two counts one, and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but it does not feel structured at all.

Uh, it does feel very, I mean, in a good way, you know, I feel like you’re very spontaneous with your guests and you relate to them and you have a good time with them. Um, and yeah, I mean, I think that you do do have a good time with, uh, you know, your guests and that really shines through, I think the, the joy that you have with interacting with your guests in the context of what you guys are talking about, um, is, is it’s fun to listen to.

Zacary: Thank you. I thank you. That is the goal. Yeah.

James: You know, and I don’t know if you close your shows out in the same way. Um, but I love. I love this sentiment that you left people with on the episode that I listened to where you said, um, I hope this was something that takes you to another word for world for awhile.

Um, that that’s, that’s really nice. I mean, you know, especially nowadays too, you know, I mean, I think people are still really from 2020, but I think that podcasts can be very powerful in that sense, you know, where it’s like, you just want to kind of have. This moment where you’re in another world and you’re not.

Dealing with things.

Zacary: Yeah. I’ve definitely, I had people asked me a couple of times, like, Hey, I really like the show. I have a question. What is the title of me? Like what, what does this mean? And, you know, I thought, well, it’s in another world. And that literally is just that it’s like going to another place with pop culture and having some escapism because I also struggled in 2020.

A time where obviously many very serious things were going on in the world. I worried at first that maybe my show would seem a little out of touch or like a little flippant, like, oh, we’re just talking about, you know, nonsense, you know, is this really going to be that impactful in a time where there’s so much important things going on in the world?

But I also like, well, I believe it’s important to stay informed and stay. Uh, engaged in the world, but I also know for me, I benefit a lot from escapism. And so I kind of thought, well, maybe my show can be escapism. And if it can make someone giggle a few times every week, then that’s, that’s honestly the goal.

Um, but yeah, like that whole, that whole moment where I was going into, uh, hopefully I’ll go to another world for a while. That was like wrapping up my season. I wanted to sort of try to have a closing statement of like, this is what this show has been about. And that is. What I want people to do all the time.

Like I always ask the guests, like, what have you been watching? What have you been listening to? I had to get a feel for what pop culture, uh, has what people are drawn to, because there are so many things that I wouldn’t think to watch or to listen to that people are like super in passionate about. So, uh, and just, you know, I’m always watching something or listening to something I’m, I’m listening to music constantly throughout the day.

I. I watch so many movies to the point where I don’t even know how I’ve watched all these movies. I’ve seen, like I have so much useless film trivia in my brain. Uh, it’s only useful at a trivia night and then suddenly I’m like the one people want on their team, but otherwise I’m just walking around with nonsense in my head.

James: Well, Zacary let’s let’s hop into a time machine. Oh

Zacary: my, yeah,

James: let’s go a year or two down the road. What are your hopes for your podcast?

Zacary: Hmm. Oh my, oh my, okay. Well in a perfect world, I would love to get picked up by a major in that work and actually, you know, get to a broader platform. I’m also getting more into YouTube content with the show also.

So I also have a vision of my show, potentially being more like a. On camera interview show even possibly down the air and still producing a podcast version that I would still release, but I, I, especially as the world starts to open up again, I would like to actually potentially get more like press badges and stuff, and actually go interview actors like on a press junket and actually do that as part of the show.

So there’s, there’s so many things. I have little kernels of ideas in my brain. Um, but just, just expanding and having my, my audience grow, being able to reach more people, be able to talk to more cool people. Uh, you know, it’s just, it’s a whole journey and hopefully I’ll get there. So we’ll see which I’ll say it before we wrap

James: things up.

I do have one last question for you. Okay. If your podcast gets developed into a movie who will play the leading

Zacary: role. Uh, uh, Hmm, Hmm. This is tricky. I always get told that I look like Zacary Quinto. I don’t agree. I don’t think I do. It’s not some, I think slowly for me. Um, if I had to cast someone to play me, I would say maybe, um, Maybe Daniel  from, uh, he was a mean girls who played Damien and mean girls.

And I just think he’s a really cool, uh, queer. Figure in the community and I love his vibe. And, uh, that’s all, I’ll say him. I’ll say him. Jennifer’s

James: Jose accurately tell us where people can find out more about you and your patients cast, uh, where

Zacary: you can find the podcasts at I a w podcasts on Twitter and Instagram.

Uh, our second season is going to be, I always say our it’s just me. This is, I can see it’s going to be starting with them. Uh, the next one. Uh, probably like late March is when it’s going to be launching. And it’s actually going to be a whole, a whole new structure because when I did the first season, everyone really responded to, I did this mini series trip to Haddonfield, where we went through the entire Halloween film franchise, and people were obsessed with it and I had a lot of fun doing it.

So I’m actually going to be having two episodes every week. Now it’s going to be TV Tuesdays and film Fridays. And so for the first season, and we’re going to be covering of the NBC show smash season, one of smash on Tuesdays, and we’re going through the nightmare on Elm street series on Fridays. And so it’s going to be a lot of fun, uh, again, post by like late March that’s when it’s going to be launching.

And, uh, yeah, I don’t know. We have, we’ve got a Facebook page too, and no one goes to the Facebook page, but it doesn’t first. Well,

James: Zacary, thank you so much for coming on. I’d love to keep in touch with you and maybe have you on again, maybe six months down the road. Do you know another check-in so that’d be awesome.

Thank

Zacary: you. Yeah. Thank you for having me. The name of the show

James: is In Another World: A Pop Culture Podcast. Zacary, thanks again, and best of luck to you and your show.

Zacary: Thank you, you too.

James: Thanks again to Zacary. Check the show notes for links to learn more about Zacary and his show In Another World. Please share what you got out of my conversation by leaving a review on Podchaser.com.

You can find out how to do this in the show notes and do, let me know what you need from me to make this show even better for you. And make sure you follow @PodcastTactics to keep learning more about podcasting and future episodes. Thank you!

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